(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine launched the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program today in Franklin County. In Franklin County, 83,000 children — from birth to age 5 — are eligible to receive a free, new book once a month, which is mailed to the child’s home.
“Early childhood literacy has so many proven positives in a child’s life, and that’s why I’m thrilled to bring the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program to Franklin County’s youngest children,” said First Lady Fran DeWine. “I hope all 83,000 eligible children — from birth to age five — in Franklin County will enroll to receive a free book every month. Mike and I believe every child should enter kindergarten with a good, strong start.”
In Franklin County, local funds raised will be matched with state dollars provided in the state’s FY 2020-2021 budget. Nationwide Children’s Hospital will administer the program in Franklin County.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is proud to be the Franklin County affiliate of the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library,” said Tim Robinson, CEO of Nationwide Children’s. “We know that children who develop an early relationship with books, and who begin kindergarten ready to learn, are one step further along the path to their full potential. We look forward to working with the Governor and the First Lady to make sure the Imagination Library has the greatest possible impact for Franklin County children.”
Research has shown that book ownership can be a predictor of future academic success. In fact, studies have found that children with just 25 books in their home were more likely to complete an additional two years of education. Inspired by Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine’s passion for early childhood literacy, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library is a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to ensure children enter the classroom ready to succeed.
Since mid-December, First Lady Fran DeWine has visited eleven Ohio counties to announce their addition to the program: Montgomery, Pike, Scioto, Jackson, Tuscarawas, Holmes, Wayne, Lawrence, Gallia, Meigs, and Franklin. 56 counties are on board today, which means more than 130,000 Ohio children under the age of five are currently receiving the free books.
To sign up and learn more, visit www.OhioImaginationLibrary.org.